The Core Four
It’s January 2021 and WE’RE STILL IN LOCKDOWN?!
Pour yourself a cup of tea, coffee, vino, or H2O and let's chat about this juncture in our COVID journey together over the last INSANE year. For some of us this second wave has hit us even harder in the mental health department:( However, REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU FEEL YOU ARE AT TODAY we invite you to honour it, feel the feels, and show up for yourselves ...we are going to pause and take stock of all that we have learned about self-care whilst living through a pandemic.
This week we have a course to offer you in partnership with Friends of Muskoka Midwives virtual event "Fill Your Cup" ...there is also a mini-workshop that you can do while you listen to this week's podcast. If you are interested - check out the event via the links below!
In this workshop we are going to set about to create some organization around all the learning and growing we've done by designing simple, streamlined, relevant and personal self care plans of action...reminders of how we want to be and express and feel in the world and ways we can commit to practices and rituals that will bring us into those experiences more and more.
We have broken down our Wellness check into FOUR categories. We are calling them the "CORE FOUR". Based off the Native American Medicine Wheel, we wanted to give you a simple way to check in with yourself and give you a sustainable easy checklist of how to maintain a base level of self care when everything else feels out of reach.
The Expression Sessions Core Four are as follows...
EAT, SLEEP, MOVE, BREATHE…REPEAT.
Simple right? It should be. This plan is personal to YOU. What works for others may not work for your lifestyle - that is why we want you to be the one creating it.
The First Category is EAT :
Review what you have discovered about key foods (and hydration) that work best for your body, your mental health, your emotional health and your energy levels.
Make detailed notes in your journal on specific foods or food groups that you want to include on (roughly) a daily/weekly basis to be sure you are keeping your whole person well nourished.
If you're Struggling with this... Here are some strategies that WORK
Begin to put together a system you would like to test out in order to develop a meal plan routine that works for you and your family.
- Batch cooking (and freezing whole meals for later)
- Establishing Meal Plans: week by week, two weeks at a time, or one month at a time
- Prepping like a Pro
- Flexitarian Approach to Family
- Meals High Mileage Meal Sets
The next category is SLEEP. (Restorative Rest/Sleep/Honouring Rhythms)
Again, In your journal note ways you can create a “winding down, going to bed, nighty-night” routine for yourself that will help usher in & support restorative sleep. Be specific about your goals on the hours of sleep, how late you want to stay up and what you’d like to include and avoid during the pre-sleep time.
Strategies for Sleep Planning that Work :
Begin to put together a plan that you would like to test out in order to develop a evening/bedtime routine that works for you and your family.
- A thing is what it is…OWN IT.
- Even Mamas need a checklist
- Put technology “to bed”
- Scramble Lists & Tasks
- Calming Your Limbic System (aka chilling the fuck out)
Next Up... MOVE! (Joyful Movement/ Exercise)
Begin to create a running list of movement or exercises that you enjoy and to which you are drawn (even if it feels like you aren’t there yet). Brainstorm a starting place that makes you feel confident and excited to begin. Take that starting place and slowly create a plan of increasing intensity that you can follow as you grow into a daily form of exercise that you love.
Movement is a fundamental aspect of life. Movement is more than just ‘exercise’ and does not necessarily require effort, though it does require action. Movement affects everything, from circulation to digestion to metabolism to immunity. With movement, our bodies regulate hormone activity, detoxify and respire. Daily movement promotes chemical changes in the body and stimulates neural pathways which provoke your healing capacity and boosts immunity. Movement is essential for learning, and ignites cerebral capacity and function. Today’s culture promotes sedentary lifestyles but when become sedentary, wellness becomes compromised. So, it’s time to move.
And Finally, BREATHE. (Limbic Calming Tools & Sovereign Thoughts)
Consider the ways you can bring grounding, calming and stress relief practices into your daily, weekly and monthly life. Set goals that straddle what is ideal and what is reality. Brainstorm creative ways to open up space and time in your life to do small, consistent acts of excellent self-care.
*Learning to regulate our emotional responses, especially during times of stress, can be difficult. ... Breathing is the Number #1 Calming strategies that can help us to work through strong emotions. When calming strategies are practiced regularly throughout the day, the possibility for use at times of anxiety is increased.
Now that you've made your notes and I have been honest with what you need to maintain your wellness... let find the BASICS. Your Minimum Requirements for Well-Being. Because let's be honest...sometimes that all you have the energy or strength for...but we have to start somewhere.
It is important that when life gets more intense, more demanding or busier than normal, you have a “skeleton” self-care list that identifies the bare minimum necessities you want to commit to get done each day to preserve and protect your health.
Jot down 3-5 core elements of a healthy lifestyle that you want in your daily or weekly life when the going gets tough.
So there you have it. The Expression Sessions Core Four in a nutshell. We know the last 12 months has been hard. Putting strain on so many aspects of our lives and pushing our self care routines out the door with all our other levels of sanity. We feel you. But we also know the importance on maintaining a plan the work for YOU and your family and how much that can help us stay well in such a difficult time.
Sending BIG love to you all in your wellness journey.
Emma and Amy